2014 Health Care Spending Report Released

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published a study by the Office of the Actuary detailing 2014 health care spending. The report found that in 2014, U.S. health care spending increased 5.3 percent, slightly higher than the 2.9 percent growth in 2013. Here are some highlights from the report:

  • Physician services- Spending on physician services increased 4.6 percent in 2014, compared to 2.5 percent growth in this category in 2013. The report also states that spending on prescription drugs grew by 12.2 percent in 2014, compared to 2.4 percent in 2013. This dramatic increase is due in large part to increased spending on new specialty drugs like those used to treat hepatitis C.
    • Medicare spending- Medicare spending grew 5.5 percent in 2014 according to the study, compared to 3 percent growth recorded for 2013. This increase was attributed to a growth in spending on retail prescription drugs and in the Medicare Advantage program.
    • Medicaid spending- Medicaid spending grew 11 percent in 2014, compared to 5.9 percent in 2013 due in large part to the coverage expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

After a year of historically low health care spending in 2013, U.S. health care spending reached $3 trillion in 2014. As a share of Gross Domestic Product, health spending accounted for 17.5 percent, emphasizing the need for continued focus on ways to reduce health care costs. You can read the full report here.


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